An Introduction to Three Exciting Photinia Species
The first couple of years you spend getting into gardening is a wonderfully exciting time. The constant discovery of new colours and aesthetics is a really rewarding beginning to what can be a fulfilling lifetime’s passion. The only thing about going on this unique journey is that sometimes it can be tricky to differentiate between the many different varieties of plant that are available, and to make the choice between them!
That’s why today, we’re going to take a look at the Photinia family: popular evergreen shrubs that grow best in fertile, moist and well-drained soil. There are over 60 different individual genus of Photinia, all of them popular amongst gardeners all over the world. These are what we think are three of the best:
Otherwise known as Stranvaesia, davidiana is one of the most picturesque shrubs in the Photinia family, the small white flowers the ideal accompaniment to a British garden, especially in the summer months. Following on from the gorgeous early season blooms, Stranvaesia then begins to sprout vibrant red berries during the autumn month, which is ideal in helping to give that post-summer lull a bit of spark. The green leaves that form the backbone of the davidiana are also beautiful, providing a sense of real depth and richness all year round. A beautiful and yet delicate addition to any garden. As with any bushy shrub, davidiana can work superbly as both a well-tailored individual pot feature, or as part of a larger border design.
Otherwise known as ‘Red Robin’, this Christmassy plant is probably the most renowned within the Photinia family, and can be found in gardens all over the world. It takes its name from the distinctive red flowers which sprout during the spring months, their density offering the appearance of almost total rouge – despite the glossy green of the elliptic leaves which are always present within the fraseri. There are also some lovely creamy-white flowers which form during the early summer, although they are more sparse than on a genus such as the above davidiana.
As another evergreen, villosa is extremely popular with gardeners due to its strong durability. Typically, it takes the form of a small deciduous tree or large shrub, making it the ideal genus for those seeking to make more of a talking piece rather than a simple border addition. Again, the colour scheme within the villosa is a combination of subtle, delicate greens and strong reds, which change in prominence throughout the year. Typically, smaller white flowers (similar to the kind found on the above two varieties of Photinia) make their presence felt earlier on in the summer, with the stronger shades of orange and red foliage becoming apparent as the garden moves into autumn. Eventually, the villosa follows the patterns of the davidiana in forming bright red berries, which, like the ‘Red Robin’ above, provide a great accompaniment to a winter garden, and the colours are simply a stunning match for any snow you’re lucky enough to get over the festive period.
Lee Brown is a devoted gardener, gardening blogger and employee at King Co, a leading Essed garden centre presenting the finest collection of trees and shrubs, hedging and topiary. Besides gardening, Lee enjoys cycling, water sports and he is also a member of the Round Table Association.